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Date: February 26th 1915


Thursday, Feb/26/15

I am all alone in my glory. The others have gone up to the firing line to observe and poor me was left to look after the horses and Battery. I hope they get back alright. We have been here now about a week and the billets are certainly not like Wedhampton, but still fairly comfortable. There have been so many troops here before, that the barns and sleeping places are quite lively and I still hope I am not inhabited though at times I strongly suspect myself as a walking stockyard. I have sent the men down to the town in batches to bathe. There is a house or shed rather, fitted up as a bath house. I pride myself on my French accent. Yesterday I interrogated three blacksmiths with a view to using their forges, but although my French carried me along, I could not get the forge. I went around today to find out what eatables are available. in the district, and although I had an interpreter I could understand fairly well what they said.

We are merely looking after the horses and guns now awaiting the return of the other officers. We can hear the guns all day and all night at ---- but everything here is quiet.

The village is composed of about twenty small houses, each with its barn. Some keep pigs and chickens and they grow many potatoes I saw them threshing today with a horse on a tread mill. They use dogs and cows in this manner for churning.

The government food is good and plentiful. Bacon, jam, beef and bread bully and biscuits. We have rum and tobacco twice a week and butter on Sundays. The coffe that we have been buying here is very good indeed and eggs though dear are quite easily available.

We have a rum parade generally in the evening at 6.30 or 7 o'clock I had one tonight. The men line up and each one takes his drink in front of the officer. This does away with the danger of teetotallers giving their share to others and it certainly is strong stuff and quite healthful, not like whiskey at all.

Today, on my visits I had an opportunity of seeing the wheel go round in one of the old fashioned wind mills. The size of the thing suprised me. The house itself has about four or five stories each with a different part of the process being carried on. At the top the wheat is put in and comes out as flour lower down. The beams of the fans themselves are like big bridge girders, bolted together and the sails are spread out on cables. The shaft of the mill is of wood with huge iron bolts and is about 12 to 18 inches in diameter. When the mill is not going by wind power it is run by a coal gas engine., the gas being made by a small plant in the mill itself, from coal.

We had a regular Canadian day today, cold with sleet and snow and then thaw. I have just been out with the gunners practising night firing with lamps. We dug trenchs for the guns and tomorrow we bury a horse in one of these. The men skin the horse and sell the hide to the natives. They make several francs for tobacco this way.

Well mother dear I cant say any more about ourselves beyond our health which is excellent.